Equipment Etiquette: Tripod and Cables (Camera Lesson 21)

Summary: Ryan shows you how to properly store and transport your camera tripod and coil two types of cables used in filmmaking.

Length: 5:28 minutes

Video Lesson

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In this video I continue to cover how to properly handle and care for your camera equipment by covering your tripod and cords.


Whenever you are transporting or storing your tripod, it should be unlocked and at its lowest tension setting. The reason you want to do this is so that the head will spin and move freely as it is transported; it prevents the head from getting damaged. If you store or transport the head with the lock on or with tension on it and it gets dropped or jarred, you can damage the internals which will prevent you from getting smooth fluid movement out of the head.

When you are working with your tripod on set you should always keep the tilt locked, unless it is being used. Keep the tilt locked prevents the camera from accidentally falling over. It is also a good idea to keep the pan unlocked. The reason why you want the pan unlocked is so that if the camera accidentally gets bumped, it will give and spin out of the way. Otherwise, there is the possibility that it will get knocked over.

So as a quick reminder, keep your tripod unlocked and at the lowest tension setting when storing or transporting it. And on set, keep the tilt locked and the pan unlocked whenever the camera is not in use.

Coiling Stingers

On set you’ll come across two types of cords: those that carry power and those that carry a signal. It is important to properly coil both kinds of cables for two reasons: …

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Depth of Field, Part 1: How Aperture and ISO Affect Focus
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 6: Five Tips For A Successful Shoot
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 5: Lighting Six High Speed Sets
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 4: Common Lighting Problems
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 3: Camera Operation & Workflow
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 2: Frame Rate
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 1: Introduction
12 Crucial Questions Before Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 15)
Negative Fill: The Best Kept Secret (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 08)
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